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Newsline

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

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U.s. 6, Nhk 5, Tokyo 4, Panasonic 3, Newsline 3, Taiwan 3, Chicago 2, The City 2, Us 2, Istanbul 2, China 2, Windchills 2, Detroit 2, France 2, New York 2, Chen 1, Vitac 1, Fukushima Daiichi 1, Robert Speta 1, Cafeteria 1,
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  PBS    Newsline    News/Business. World events, business news and  
   weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)  

    February 1, 2013
    7:00 - 7:30pm PST  

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welcome to nhk world "newsline". police in turkey are trying
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to figure out who is behind an explosion at the united states embassy in the country's capital, ankara. a bomb blast ripped a hole in the building, killing at least two people. several others were wounded. the explosion happened around noon on friday. it blew out part of a wall of the american embassy. turkish broadcaster and tv says it was a suicide bombing. other media say someone approached embassy guards and soon after there was an explosion. emergency crews are on the scene. the building is about two kilometers away from the center of the city. other foreign embassies are also in the same area. kurdish separatists and militants have carried out a number of attacks in the past. in november # 2003, a series of bombings killed 60 people in istanbul, two synagogues were
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also destroyed. one week later they targeted the british consulate and the headquarters of britain's bank. islamic militants said to be related to al qaeda claimed responsibility. in 2008, an armed group and turkish police exchanged gunfire near the u.s. consulate in istanbul. three police officers died. nobody that's claimed responsibility for the most recent bombing on friday. >> algerian officials have for the first time allowed the media inside the site of a fatal hostage siege. islamic militants attacked the natural gas complex last month and kidnapped hundreds of workers. security forces fought their way in. when the crisis was over 37 foreign hostages and one algerian captive were dead. nhk was among the journalists who saw evidence of the conflict up close. >> reporter: about 100 domestic and foreign journalists were taken on a tour of the facility
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accompanied by officials. the plant is now under heavy guard. there are three checkpoints between the airport and the complex. and tanks have been deployed. these are the living quarters were many of the victims were taken hostage. we were only allowed access to the entrance. this building is a cafeteria. bullet holes serve as a grim reminder of the violence that gripped the complex over a four day period. the hostages were gathered up and brought to this place. the extremists strapped explosives to some of their bodies. the living quarters are about 3 kilometers from the gas plants. charred and destroyed vehicles line the route. preparations to restart operations at the natural gas facility are under way.
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officials say security has been tightened. the media tour was part of the algerian government' s efforts to reassure the world that the complex is now safe. but the journalists were only shown a small part facility and were not allowed to go near the area where the workers lived. there's many questions remain unanswered. the visit served as a fresh reminder it would be some time we know how the extremists infiltrated the facility. french troops have managed to re- establish control over cities in mali. the international community is eyeing the next step. diplomatic sources say a peace keeping mission could be sent in to help main stain stability. they are still fighting islamic insurgent. they have taken back several key
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cities, including timbuktu. chad and niger have contributed troops. a peacekeeping force in mali from the u.s. has been proposed. the objective to would be to help stabilize forces after the end of the operation. sources say neighboring countries are expected to play a major role in the operation. >> south korea leaders say they are ready to conduct an underground nuclear test at any time. crews have installed a remote detonator and equipment that will be used to measure radiation. north korean leaders said last month it will conduct their
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third nuclear test, but didn't say when. government sources say the crews brought a vehicle to the test site in the northeast that will remotely control the detonator. a monitoring device installed will be used to detect any nuclear radioactive material coming out of tunnels after a nuclear explosion. they are working with u.s. forces to monitor the movements of the north korean military. >> a trailer truck loaded with fireworks has exploded on an expressway on the inland chinese province of hernan. there are conflicting reports about the number of dead but the figure could reach into the dozens. the truck was delivering fireworks for chinese new year celebrations when it blew up on a bridge. a section of the bridge collapsed and the truck and several other vehicled plunged 30 meters into a gully.
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china central television quotes a local official saying nine people were killed and at least 11 injured. it says a search and rescue operation is under way but is being hampered by poor visibility caused by fog. police are investigating the cause of the explosion. taiwan's premier is stepping down in the face of growing public frustration with the nomination of jo. chen announced he is announcing due to health problems and he assumed the post after ma ying-jeou was elected. he was expected to use of his economic expertise. he served as a finance official and head of the supervisory commission. but taiwan's economic growth dropped due to the euro zone debt problems and the slowdown of the chinese economy. the administration is being criticized for delaying a reform
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of the pension system that favors retired civil servants and military personnel. three weeks ago about 90,000 people took part in a rally organized by the largest opposition democratic progressive party. the support for president ma has fallen to 13%. a vice premier is expected to analyst replace chin. analysts say the personnel change is an attempt for the administration to gain public support. some analysts say the u.s. economy is beginning to show signs of a full recovery but in terms of the labor market, not just yet. officials from the u.s. labor department have released the latest jobs report. it edged up to 7.9%. it was 7.8% the previous month. the jobless rate was above 8% for months.
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they added 157,000 jobs in the non-farm sector. employment in the retail sector rose by 33,000 while employment in the transportation and warehousing dropped by about 14,000 jobs. major japanese electronics makers are marred deep in the red but they started showing signs of a turn around. panasonic reported the first profit since october and december. >> translator: in this quarter, our sales fell due to stagnant demand of products like televisions and digital cameras, but we managed to post a before-tax profit and after-tax profit. >> panasonic's net came to $670 million. group sales fell 8% from a year earlier.
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the company managed to cut costs by slashing jobs. a decline in the price of rare earths and other raw materials was also a help. the firm has kept its forecast for this fiscal year. it expects to lose more than $8 billion. panasonic officials says the business environment could change though the yen's decline would push up sales. competition in the digital product market has been intensifying. sharp said it posted its first profit in five quarters in the final three months of last year. sharp executives say operating profit in the october to december period totalled about $28 million. that came largely from higher than targeted sales of smartphones and crystal television sets. the company set up a goal to start posting profits in the
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second half of this fiscal year that ended in march this is a condition for the firm to continue to receive support from its main banks. the managing director says the company will make speedy efforts to reform its structure and says the company will continue to sell its overseas plants and receive investment from taiwan electronics giant. managers at sharp are also betting on one unique technology to bring business back. we explain. >> reporter: engineers at sharp looked into the future and the monitors, public computers and in smartphones too. the new liquid crystal display technology is called igzo. it reduces power consumption by a fifth. only sharp owns this technology, for now. >> translator: smartphone batteries that last longer are very appealing. >> reporter: in december, a market research firm ranked smartphones with a igzo panel as the number one seller in japan. >> translator: we're getting many inquiries of products. that would certainly boost our sales.
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>> reporter: sharp executives are pinning hopes on this technology? >> translator: igzo is contributing a lot to improving our business. >> analysts say sharp executives may need to learn more from their past mistakes. executives invested nearly $5 billion to increase production lines for liquid crystal displays. it didn't take long for south korean and taiwanese competitors to catch up. sharp eventually lost in the price war and posted a steep decline in profits. sharp may have a head start in technology, but other firms have started developing a senior product. some are ready to put their
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products on the market. one analyst says they could only be two years before sharp loses its competitive edge on the new technology. >> translator: sharp should apply the igzo technology to more technology, like tvs, it needs to move quickly so the company can be widely recognized as the ultimate power saving equipment maker. >> reporter: analysts add that a technological advantage won't be enough to turn around sharp's fortune. >> translator: sharp can survive only if it gets support from banks, with tie-ins from other makers and sells unnecessary assets. they need to do all of these things to achieve turn around.
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>> reporter: company executives will compile a restructuring plan by march which could determine the fate of the company. chie tanaka, nhk world, tokyo. japan's mini vehicle sales were the highest ever for january. sales of other kinds of cars declined. industry sources say new mini vehicle sales came to 154,000 units up 1% from a year earlier. new fuel-efficient models were rolled out. 383,000 new cars were sold last month, including mini vehicles. that's down 7% year-on-year and also a fifth straight monthly drop. industry officials say the decline stems from the end of september of government subsidies for buyers of eco-friendly cars. the biggest losers in january were toyota motor with a 14% drop and honda which showed a
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13% drop. almost two years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the situation at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant is far from stable. today on "nuclear watch," we look at the current conditions and challenges ahead. tokyo electric power company operates the plant. access is highly restricted. journalists were able to enter the plant on monday. the tsunami damaged four
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reactors, three of them suffered a meltdown. radiation levels are still high. earlier i spoke with a chief correspondent who was one of the journalists who entered the site. you weren't wearing a protective suit. weren't they necessary? >> reporter: the site has been cleaned up to keep the contaminated particles in the air to a minimum.
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we wore masks, gloves, and shoe coverings as safety precaution. we entered through the main gate and visited a control center. radiation level climbed from 3.5 to 30 milisieverts. the highest level was 1,370. we only stayed there an hour. by comparison, for example, the background radiation level in new york is from 0.05 to 0.25. >> it's quite high. ultimately, the utility will have to dismantle the reactor. what kind of work is going on now at the plant? >> at this point, the most important task is to cool down the reactor. if these units are kept consistently cool, if not, another meltdown could happen. they are also stored in old reactor buildings. the other important task is to remove them. workers already started at the number four unit. it houses the largest amount of spent fuel, and it's the easiest area for workers to access, which means this reactor didn't
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melt down. plans to start the removal process in november. once the spent fuel is removed it will be transferred to a pool built above ground. but the pool is not big now enough for all of the spent fuel. so there are plans to build a new facility that relies on titanium instead of water as a coolant. >> how long will it take to remove the fuel and dismantle the reactors? >> there are plans to remove all of the spent fuel by 2021. the next step, remove melted fuel from the reactors. the entire procedure will take until 2051. that is 40 years after the accident. >> what are the major obstacles? >> let me highlight the three major issues that must be at risk. the first is to develop robots
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that can operate under the high levels of radiation. the second is to make sure there are enough workers with sufficient skills to complete the job. the third is to dispose of radioactive materials, including water, debris and fuel. it's going to be a long journey. we need to keep a close eye on the work to make sure that the right steps are taken. and that information is shared and keep you updated. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land awaiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy.
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step-by-step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." >> the nuclear accident prompted a major rethink of japan's energy policy in july, the government introduced a system called the feed in tariff which allows people to sell renewable energy to power companies at a fixed price. investors have rushed in to take advantage of this new market. workers in southern japan started work this week on one what will be one of the largest solar plants. it extends over 1 million square meters. the site was purchased 30 years ago in hopes to build a petrochemical complex. a recession foiled their plan. last october, they announced a new man to go solar. they are hoping switch on the plant in april of next year. they project it will produce
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enough energy to power 30,000 households. >> translator: we would like to promote renewable energy and we would like to help cover power shortages in the region. so we want to contribute to the power supply. >> government officials say as of november, companies have been working on nearly 500 solar projects, each of them capable of powering at least 250 homes. earlier, i spoke about nhk world's reporter who has been covering environmental issues and talked about the boom in renewable energy. how much is the feed-in tariff system feeding into the boom in renewable energy? >> they receive a return on investment, and the people who run the plant can sell electricity at about 50 cents per kilowatt hour. more than twice as expensive as the current price for retail
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electricity. government guarantees that for 20 years. the price has doubled of france and germany. it attracts investors who have not even been in the energy business. it caused some firms to enter the solar market. japan is more open to renewable energy after the nuclear accident. >> what are the challenges? >> the primary challenge, can consumers afford the change? an average japanese household pays $1 per month on top of what they paid before. if they buy more green energy, it could drive up the cost of electricity. energy contributes. only 1% of the power across the country. nuclear power requires a significant amount of investment, and it is certainly drive up costs. so it remains to be seen if government shares will be able
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to operate the feed-in tariff in a way that will keep investor interest high and keep energy prices low. bitter cold temperatures are being felt across the northern u.s. robert speta with the forecast. robert, how long will this last? >> well, gene, at least into sunday into monday. temperatures across much of the northern u.s. will get back to normal. for now, we're still seeing cold air come across the dakotas and minnesota and wisconsin, the windchill here is right around minus 30 to minus 35 degrees
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below zero. any time outside with some exposed skin is going to result in frostbite here. not just windchills, that northwesterly wind running across the lakes here, resulting in some rather heavy lake-effect snow. accompanied by gusty winds and yesterday, we were actually talking about in chicago, erie, pennsylvania, and detroit, michigan, some areas that will see it and that's exactly what happened. i want to show you video coming out of detroit here. on one of the highways, very tragic. a chain reaction resulted in a very large crash there, just outside of the city. that did kill three people, sadly, two of them being children. you can see some of the cars here, just absolutely destroyed. many of the witnesses described. at the time, whiteout conditions and we always say if are you under the winter storm warnings and don't have to travel, just stay indoors if you can. and if you aren't on the roads, just take your time. some areas still seeing lake effect snow into the tug hill
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plateau, upstate new york, you could see 80 to 85 centimeters of snowfall before this is said and done. especially in the narrow bands in the midst of lake-effect snow from the northwest toward the east. watch this. as far as temperatures on your friday, this is the high in winnipeg, minus 24 for the high. that's what we're talking about, the cold windchills, dropping below minus 30. central canada, minus 40. chicago, minus 12. you remember back by mid week, we were seeing record-breaking temperatures to the high teens. so just night and day, switching up here. now, take a look at europe. a storm system moving through the low country. pushes off toward the southeast.
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this is bringing widespread rainshowers in places like france and germany it will push off to the south and develop into snow. and redevelop in northern italy. it will pull in warm, moist air from the mediterranean. cold air coming with it, and every time we talk about it, unsettled weather begins to fire up. very likely to see winds here, especially near the coastal areas to 100 to 120 kilometers per hour and into the alps, heavy snowfall. 20 to 30 centimeters. temperatures also reflecting this. really a dramatic drop down in london, paris, 5 and 6. kiev, 0 degrees. a quick look at eastern asia, we are watching a storm system move across japan. behind it, much clearer and
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conditions across korea and china, cooler, but it looks like much more fresh air is continuing to push in. we're seeing heavy rainfall across much of japan, due to the warm air coming in from the south. snowfall for portions of hokkaido. you will see wet snow accompanied by gusty winds at times. very well could result in power outages across much of northern japan here, good news on sunday, things will clear right off. in saturday evening, rainshowers, and three-day into saturday morning. sunny skies working their way in. high of 20. more like late april. look at that. dropping off. 10-degree drop near the freezing mark for your overlight low and that's a look at the tokyo three-day forecast. take a look at the forecast for the rest of you.
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we'll be back in 30 minutes with more "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thank you very much for joining us. have a great day wherever you are. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com

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